Adam Ekberg (2007)


Adam Ekberg

Chicago Tribune by Alan Artner

From the beginning of photography, cameras have captured things the eyes of the operator did not see. And that has made it possible from time to time for spiritualists to claim that photography was a natural ally in their exploration of the numinous. The Victorians were emphatic about it, and now, so it would seem, is Adam Ekberg, in his exhibition of color inkjet prints at the Thomas Robertello Gallery.

Some images have resulted from phenomena that occurred within the camera when, say, shooting directly at the sun. Others are of scenes such as a soap bubble resting on grass or an airplane flying amid dramatic clouds. Still others observe processes such as the melting of an ice cube or the sun reflected in transit over a small street puddle.

Ekberg presents them all as epiphanies that hint at rapture in the world of the unseen. But while halos that form around strong lights may lend themselves to “spiritual” interpretation, the stain left by a glass on a table and smoke rings blown by someone off camera do not. So, by turns, we wonder if Ekberg’s enterprise is serious. It could just as well be a send-up of spiritualist photography, and the faithful (or faithless) have to decide for themselves.

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